Turkey’s SSB Signs Deal with BMC for Mass Production of Altay Main Battle Tank

The Turkish Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) has signed a contract with domestic armored vehicle manufacturer BMC for the mass production of the Altay main battle tank (MBT).

The contract, for which the financial details was not revealed, also includes life-cycle logistical support for 250 units.

Under the deal, BMC will initially produce 40 Altay tanks, with the first to be delivered to the Turkish Land Forces in 18 months, according to a presentation by the SSB during the signing ceremony. After the initial batch is delivered, a further 210 tanks would be built, the presentation showed.

Alongside BMC, others involved in the project include Turkish firms Roketsan (indigenous armor), Aselsan (Volkan III modular fire control system, C2 system), Machinery and Chemical Industry Institute/MKEK (licensed production of Rheinmetall 120 mm gun), and Havelsan.

Currently, the Altay’s prototype, developed by military vehicle producer Otokar, is powered by a 1,500 hp diesel engine from Germany’s MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH. The engine to be used in the mass produced Altay tank will also be sourced from abroad since engine development activities have only recently started. BMC has signed a deal with SSB develop a 1,500-horsepower diesel engine and other systems for the Altay tanks.

Altay is a modern, next generation main battle tank, based on the South Korean K2 Black Panther tank. It is named in honor of Army General Fahrettin Altay who commanded the 5th Cavalry Corps in the final stage of the Turkish War of Independence.

The tank is equipped with 120 mm (4.7 in) smoothbore gun and includes CBRN defense elements, to protect it from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons.

The planned maximum speed is set at 70 kmph (43 mph), provided by an 1,800 hp (1,300 kW) engine (the first two batches will have 1,500 hp (1,100 kW) engines), and the MBTs will be able to function under 4.1 metres (13 ft) of water.

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